The ominously titled Spider-Man: No Way Home is proving to be the most anticipated Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movie since Avengers: Endgame. The first trailer has set the Internet aflame, thanks to some familiar faces from previous Spider-Man films.
No Way Home is likely the last time we’ll see Spider-Man in the MCU since Sony’s contract to lend the character to Marvel Studios for three solo films is coming to an end in 2022. But he’ll go out with a bang: the movie will throw Tom Holland‘s Spider-Man into the multiverse where he will meet characters from previous Spider-Man franchises—specifically the Sony versions starring Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, respectively.
We do know that Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) will play a pivotal role in the film. When a Spidey villain reveals Spider-Man’s secret identity, Peter Parker pleads with Strange to use magic to reverse the revelation. Things go predictably awry from there.
The last time we saw Holland’s Spidey, he was in big trouble. At the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home, Jake Gyllenhaal’s villainous Mysterio created a fake video to make it seem as if Peter Parker murdered Mysterio in cold blood. (As an aside, Mysterio gained Peter’s trust by claiming that he was a superhero who arrived on earth from a parallel universe and then joked with his henchmen about how gullible Peter was for believing the parallel universe nonsense. That past burn may mean that Peter is slow to accept the whole multiverse concept in No Way Home.)
In the final scene of Far From Home, the vindictive journalist J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons, reprising his role from the Sam Raimi movies—more on that later) publishes the Mysterio video and reveals that Peter Parker is Spider-Man.
Spider-Man: No Way Home looks to pick up the action seconds after the end of Far From Home. Peter tries to swing away from crowds with his love interest MJ (Zendaya) in his arms. Kids in school snap his photo. Protestors call Peter a “Devil in Disguise.” The police bring Peter, his best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon), and Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) in for questioning about Mysterio’s death.
This dramatic reaction on the part of New York City seems rather harsh considering how normal citizens in the MCU idolize heroes like Iron Man (who revealed his secret identity in the very first Iron Man movie). But in the comics and the other Spidey films, New Yorkers have always been a bit suspicious and scared of Spider-Man, thanks in large part to J. Jonah Jameson’s anti-Spidey propaganda at the Daily Bugle. And now that Mysterio has framed Spider-Man for his murder, the public perceives Peter as a vigilante.
Unlike Tony Stark or even Stephen Strange, Peter is just a kid. He can’t hide away from the public in his mansion or the Sanctum Sanctorum. Thus, Peter turns to Doctor Strange for help.